California has a lot of great communities filled with every shape, style and size of log homes. We’re lucky to have clients throughout the state who trust us for restoring, repairing and building the log homes and structures they love. From great lodges in the north to cozy weekend getaways in the south, we get to see it all. We’ve written about a few communities we love in the past (Mammoth, Pine Mountain Club & Frazier Park) and today are sharing another – the Santa Cruz Mountains. When you think of California’s Central Coast and Bay Area, you might picture surf competitions, diverse communities, artists, vineyards and, oh yes, the dramatic Golden Gate Bridge. We love that too, but here at Prolog Restorations we’re also big fans of log home living in the Santa Cruz region.
Valued for its close proximity to the large urban areas of San Francisco, the Santa Cruz Mountains form a ridge along the San Francisco Peninsula, south of San Francisco, separating the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco Bay, and continuing south as they border Monterey Bay.
The area is filled with a diverse population of artists, high-tech professionals, entrepreneurs, wine lovers and foodies, and people who love to get away from it all in this area that offers the perfect combination of mountains, oceans, urban and agricultural communities … and never a dull moment!
Once populated by miners and loggers in the 1800s, the Santa Cruz Mountains have also sported vineyards since the mid-1800s. Legally defined as an American Viticultural Area in 1981, wine has been produced here since at least the 1840s and the area recognized as a premier producer of top wines. There are now more than 30 wineries located in the area, including the historic Old Almaden Winery, established in 1852 on the eastern slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the first commercial winery in California.
The Santa Cruz Mountains, with an average elevation of around 3800 feet, are home to an unusual abundance of parks and protected open spaces, including California’s oldest state park: Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
There are a wide variety of activities that locals and tourists love in the area including hiking, horse-riding, mountain biking, rock-climbing, and backpacking. Adventurers love Castle Rock State Park for open rock faces suitable for rock climbing and bouldering. And avid hikers flock to the long-distance Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, which winds 38 miles from Castle Rock State Park through Big Basin to the Pacific Ocean. There are also backcountry campsites in many of the state parks that enable long distance multi-day outings.
Wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers are never disappointed with a tremendous amount of various bird species prolific in the area as well as Black-tailed deer, Western gray squirrels, chipmunks and raccoons. Periodic sightings of black bears, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, and cougars are also sighted in the mountains.
Santa Cruz streams are home to a wide variety of native fish, including steelhead, coho salmon, Pacific lamprey, Sacramento sucker, prickly sculpin, and three-spine stickleback. The streams also support sensitive wildlife species such as the California red-legged frog, foothill yellow-legged frog, and western pond turtle.
Our favorite part of Santa Cruz, of course, is the great variety of log homes in the area. The community is filled with beautiful log homes and friendly residents, some who live there year-round while others enjoy vacation homes as often as they can.
We hope this inspires you to visit this beautiful mountain community. If you decide to purchase a log home in the Santa Cruz Mountains area, or already own one and would like an appraisal, tips for maintenance, or general advice for keeping your home in good condition, call or email our California log home experts at 877-477-6564.